Let’s take a quick look at the fastest sectors done during the 2020 Spanish GP qualifying session.
A very simple analysis was done. I filtered the data to contain the best lap done by each driver. Then, I got the best sector times for each one of the drivers, and calculated the delta from each one of them to the best sector time done in each of the respective sectors.
Delta to leader per sector
In strange fashion, Lewis Hamilton dropped two consecutive sectors against his teammate Valtteri Bottas. He was, however, fast enough in sector 3 to turn around the deficit of 113 milliseconds by outpacing Bottas by 173 thousands of a second.
Max Verstappen took the 3rd position after posting strong times in S2 and S3. His first sector wasn’t as good, as he was outpaced by both Mercedes’ drivers as well as Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz.
It is interesting to see what happened with Sergio Perez. His first sector was blazing fast, even outpacing Lewis Hamilton, but his second and particularly third sectors were much slower. As he said in an interview after the session, it’s all about managing the tires over the course of a lap. It seems like perhaps the Mexican driver couldn’t keep the tires alive after the first sector, and suffered the consequences in the last 2 sectors of the track.
Regarding Ferrari, clearly they are still in a world of hurt. Sebastian Vettel was eliminated once again in Q2, while Charles struggled in Q3 and will start in 9th place. The Monegastque had 2 fairly strong sectors in S2 and S3, but an atrocious S1. His first sector was so bad that his time was slower than times done by Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen in Q1.
Another day at the office by Mercedes Benz. Too much speed in quali-trim. Even with a ban on engine modes, they seem to have way too much advantage for anyone to catch up.
Max keeps getting the best place available to him, which is either 2nd or 3rd place. Pole is right now out of his reach, but as long as he can start close to the Silver Arrows, he has a chance of winning the race.
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